The Office of Child Nutrition won first place in the category “Nourishing Tomorrow’s Nutrition Leaders and Practitioners.” WVDE was acknowledged for its efforts in promoting positive eating behaviors for children. The department’s Child Nutrition Program received recognition for organizing summer nutrition education symposiums for educators, health professionals, school food service personnel, parents and community nutrition specialists.
Sponsored by Fairmont State College Child Nutrition Center, these symposiums focused on physical activity practices and addressed West Virginia children’s nutrition-related health problems, such as obesity, overweight and related public health concerns.
“Schools can play an important role in helping kids learn to become competent eaters. Kids who eat at school are better nourished and better prepared to learn,” said Mary Kay Harrison, Executive Director, WVDE, Office of Child Nutrition.
It also received third place in the same category for a program designed to help parents model good nutrition at home. “Stepping Up for Healthy Families” provided presentations to parent and community groups, and a video featuring tips for family meals, snack time and physical activity.
“These awards exemplify the quality of nutrition programs we have in West Virginia schools,” said State Schools Superintendent David Stewart. “Good nutrition is paramount for children to be alert and active during the school day.”
The conference was sponsored by the United State Department of Agriculture. Approximately 800 participants attended the three-day event to discuss and develop science-based, nutrition education initiatives aimed at promoting positive eating and health habits.